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"More must be done to help young people live in the villages they grew up in" says Farron

June 12, 2013 10:48 AM

Speaking in Parliament to the National Housing Federation, South Lakes MP Tim Farron applauded the Save Our Villages campaign as it draws to a close but warned that the issue of affordable rural housing is still live. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for 'real and urgent action' to deal with the housing crisis we face, after statistics showed that many people cannot afford to buy a home in the villages they grew up in.

New figures from the National Housing Federation show the number of people aged 30-44 has dropped nearly 9% in rural areas over the last decade, despite numbers rising in urban areas.

The analysis also shows:

  • · The number of children under 10 in rural areas has also fallen 2%, although numbers have risen 6% elsewhere.
  • · Overall, there are 2% fewer under-45s in rural areas, but 6% more under-45s in urban areas.
  • · The number of over-65s in rural areas has risen 2.5 times faster than in towns and cities (20% rise in rural areas compared to 8% rise in towns and cities).

Alongside this demographic shift, rural house prices have soared in rural communities. In rural areas, house prices nearly doubled in ten years, up 82% from £126,016 to £228,742. However, wages have not kept pace, rising 17% slower in rural areas than in urban areas over the last five years.

Commenting, Tim said: "Housing is fundamentally about people and it's the people in rural areas that suffer the most. It's appalling that in significant parts of the UK, you need a salary of at least £100,000 to stay in the village you grew up in. And it's not just a few people - the problem is real, and it's widespread.

"The work that the National Housing Federation does is incredibly important and I want to thank them for their commitment to our rural communities - I know they have been a real support and resource in my own constituency in the South Lakes, and I am confident that by keeping up the pressure we can make sure that rural people get the houses and the services they need."